Tuesday, April 08, 2008


We've stopped at a spot along a road which forms the back door geographically and perhaps anatomically to Santee, SC. Much of Highway 15 cuts though cultivated land, gently aging country homes, but there's a seedy stretch. "Seedy" is not to be considered in agricultural terms. In the section running north from Highway 176, this part of the road was once home to several prosperous truck stops.

As we've several times observed, nothing stanches the flow of economic blood from a road more than having an interstate highway placed in parallel to the affected section. Business evaporated like ether in August from these truck stops once I-95 opened in Orangeburg County. When such businesses die the buzzards which come along do not eat the buildings, but move into them. Those shiny new Peterbuilts no longer stop at these places. You're more likely to see rusted pickups or dinged up Datsuns among the uninsured vehicles parked in these lots. Vice can be nice, stylish, avant guard, but along here it has settled to the bottom rung. You know you've got something special when the plate glass is spray painted from the inside.

Random debris has been swept to the rear of the lot and the building seems empty and dormant. Even if this is the limit of advances by the new management, it's a great step upward. Here at the back door to Santee this is the yard of the month.


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